EXCLUSIVE: San Fermin talk new album and plans to visit Australia
San Fermin, pronounced SAN Fur-MEEN, are a Brooklyn-based baroque pop band that is quickly gaining a strong following in the U.S, particularly for their song Sonsick.
Their first self-titled album was released last September and featured around 25 musicians, from drums and vocals to saxophone and violin.
Now, with a more refined eight members, San Fermin are heading back into the studio to record their sophomore album.
We sat down at a little bakery in Brooklyn with founder Ellis Ludwig-Leone, during a month-long break from their tour of America.
MTV: You’ve been touring for almost a year now, that must be intense.
Ellis: Yeah, but if you know that you’re able to do it and people still care about that record it feels great. There’s a grueling aspect but the shows get more and more fun.
MTV: What is your favourite show that you’ve done so far?
Ellis: There have been a lot that stood out. One of my favourites actually was after Lollapalooza; we did an after party thing at a small club in the city there. Because it’s Lollapalooza and there’s all this music everyone’s playing these small rooms, because everyone’s crammed into the city, and there was just so much energy.
MTV: Any funny stories from the road?
Ellis: Yeah, I don’t know how many are appropriate to put on the internet… It’s funny because we have a group of eight people and each of us has a different situation. Some of us, Tyler for example, our guitarist, he’s married with three kids and he’s got a steady job as an engineer, so he’s always working on the road. But certain other members, there’s less of that and everyone sort of has a different strategy. I don’t know if there’s any particular incidence that I could point out.
MTV: Have you become closer since touring?
Ellis: When we started we didn’t even know each other. I mean I knew everyone because I had assembled everyone, but I would say so.
MTV: Tell us about the new album...
Ellis: It’s getting close to being done. I actually wrote a significant amount of it very early on, sort of like January and February of last year, like eight months before we started touring. But we’re recording on Monday and getting it done, so it’s been an interesting process trying to turn that into a cohesive thing. Right now I think we’re at 16 songs.
MTV: Does the new album follow on from the last one?
Ellis: Yeah sort of, on the first record I think I sort of split the characters into this woman and this man, and they had very different ideas. This record it’s much more like everyone’s a little bit more mixed up. I think that gendered sort of thing was less attractive to me this time.
MTV: What has the fan reaction been to the new music?
Ellis: Really positive so far, they’re kind of up-tempo songs. There’s one song, it’s the only four to the floor dance moment of the whole show, that’s usually the most successful song that we play live.
MTV: When is the album going to be released?
Ellis: Yeah I’m not sure I’m supposed to tell you specifics… It’ll be sometime next year.
MTV: When can we expect to hear some of the new music outside of your shows?
Ellis: We’re going to put out a couple of songs maybe this spring and in the summer as well. So the first single should come out pretty soon.
MTV: Who would you love to do a collab with?
Ellis: Paul Simon, I think he’s great. That Graceland record is still one of my favourites. Just to be able to talk to someone like that, who has done so many different things so successfully would be really interesting.
MTV: Plans to visit Australia?
Ellis: We had this Triple J thing happening a little bit and there were some initial plans to go as part of festivals and stuff, but it was too expensive for the last record. This record we’ll certainly be there, I would hope for Splendour In The Grass. That’s sort of the goal, I guess. I’d love to come; it’s one of those places I’ve always wanted to go.
Check out the album San Fermin now and stay tuned for new music in the coming months.
— Saira Mueller